Los Angeles tests world’s first zero-emissions top handlers

Los Angeles tests world’s first zero-emissions top handlers

The Port of Los Angeles has demonstrated the world’s first zero-emissions top handlers which will be tested at the Everport Container Terminal as part of the port’s effort to achieve clean cargo handling operations.

The two pre-commercial battery-electric top handlers were designed and built in the US by Taylor Machine Works Inc, the largest supplier of top handlers at the port.

Port of Los Angeles’ executive director Gene Seroka said: “Today shows we are making good on our pledge to do the hard work of advancing commercially feasible solutions to meet our goal of transitioning all cargo handling equipment to zero emissions by 2030.

“We’re excited to power up these battery-electric top handlers and test them under the real-world conditions of a working container terminal.”

The top handlers run on a one-megawatt battery designed to operate for up to 18 hours between charges and each machine has a data logger for tracking hours of operation, charging frequency, energy usage and other performance indicators.

The data collection process also involves obtaining feedback from all demonstration participants, including the drivers and mechanics who will operate and maintain the top handlers.

Workers will be able to provide input on the manoeuvrability, noise level and safety of the equipment.

The battery-electric top handlers are a key component of the port’s US$7.7m Everport Advanced Cargo Handling Demonstration Project. The California Energy Commission (CEC) is supporting the large-scale zero-emissions technology project with a US$4.5m sustainability grant.

Energy commissioner Patty Monahan said: “The CEC is proud to be working with forward-thinking partners like the Port of Los Angeles to accelerate the adoption of innovative and sustainable freight technologies.

“Projects like this are critical to showcasing zero-emission equipment that can make the state’s freight industry more efficient and competitive, while helping clean California’s air.”

The Everport demonstration is one of 16 projects in which the port is either the lead agency or a participant working with multiple partners to test near-zero emissions engines, emissions control technology and alternative fueling and charging stations.

In addition to the battery-electronic top handlers, the projects include testing hybrid natural gas and fully battery-electric fuel cell heavy-duty trucks; battery-electric forklifts, yard tractors and rubber-tyred gantry cranes.

Los Angeles’ Mayor Eric Garcietti, who was present at the demonstration, said: “Every Angeleno deserves to know that future generations will inherit a sustainable city and a liveable planet – and that our air, water and natural resources will be protected and preserved.”